Brisbane Heat v Sydney Sixers @ Gabba – Wednesday, 7:40pm AEDT
The Brisbane Heat will need to overcome the absence of master blaster Chris Lynn and a poor 1-5 record against the Sydney Sixers if they’re going to book their first spot in a BBL final since their win in BBL 02. Despite only playing a handful of games at the start of the competition, Lynn is still the leading Heat run scorer with 309 runs at an incredible average of 154.50. Just behind him on 277 runs for BBL 06 is Brendon McCullum. McCullum marked his return from suspension by blasting 64 in the 1 run loss to the Renegades. It’s a team game, but if the Sixers can dismiss McCullum cheaply it will go a long way to winning this contest. The Sixers booked their spot in the finals with a 3 wicket over the Stars, with lower order batsmen Sean Abbott (33) and Johan Botha (25) guiding the side to victory. It highlights the strength and batting depth of the Sixers side when they can rely on No.8 to get them home in a high pressure match. The Sixers beat the Heat by 3 wickets at the Gabba just over three weeks ago and will be confident chasing down any total if they happen to bat second. The Heat posted a competitive 6/186 off their 20 overs, with Joe Burns top scoring with 51*. BBL 06 leading wicket-taker Sean Abbott picked up 3/38 in the win, with good support from Johan Botha (2/24). Australian Test players Jackson Bird and Nathan Lyon didn’t play this match and will only strengthen the Sixers side for the semi final. Sixers opener and leading run scorer Daniel Hughes was the hero in chasing down the strong total, blasting 85 off 55 balls in his match-winning knock. It also pays to be the away side at the moment, with the last 10 regular season BBL 06 matches won by the travelling teams. The Sixers tick plenty of boxes here against a Heat side that has overachieved this season and has done a stellar job in reaching the finals without their best player.
Bet: Sydney Sixers ($1.95) Top Heat BatsmanJoe Burns top scored with 51* in the last clash against the Sixers and looks the value play here if the Heat were to lose early wickets. He also top-scored with 43 in the Heat’s BBL 02 Final win. He has plenty of experience and it could be required if McCullum is dismissed cheaply.
Bet: Joe Burns ($7)
Top Sixers BatsmanIt’s hard to go past Daniel Hughes here. He has made 250 runs during BBL 06 at an average of 50 and as already mentioned, produced a match-winning 85 off 55 balls in the last clash against the Heat at The Gabba.
Bet: Daniel Hughes ($4)
Top Heat BowlerMitchell Swepson has been a revelation during BBL 06, taking 11 wickets at an average of 20.36. The selectors didn’t miss his efforts by selecting him on Australia’s tour to India. Swepson also took 2/25 in the last match against the Sixers.
Bet: Mitchell Swepson ($3.75)
Top Sixers BowlerBen Dwarshius might not have the profile of his Test teammates but has been just as valuable this BBL 06 season. He has picked up 12 wickets at an average of 20.33 and recorded his best figures for the season (3/25) in the Sixers last match against the Melbourne Stars.